Parenting can be very stressful. I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded of that. Between messy rooms, misbehaviour, disciplining and enforcing guidelines…it can make you want to scream at times. The key to solid parenting, however, comes from the ability to maintain a level head and a calm demeanour. This is a task that’s easier said than done for some parents.
So, how is it that calm parents balance their stress and keep calm under taxing situations? Easy, they follow these 9 simple tactics suggested by the likes of professionals like Amy Morin.
Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, tenured psychotherapist, and author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do recently shared her techniques in a post to Very Well. But, you can check them out right here!
Read Morin’s list of 9 things that calm parents do that stressed parents don’t:
1. Manage stress levels
Calm parents strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle so they can manage their stress in a healthy way. They know that stress from a difficult job, strained marriage, and an overstretched budget will spill over into their parenting. They create healthy stress reduction strategies, like getting plenty of exercise and spending time with friends, so they can be more tolerant with their children.
2. Monitor frustration
Calm parents monitor their frustration level. They know when they’re anger is on the rise and they take steps to remedy the situation quickly. They’re not afraid to step away for a few minutes or put themselves in time-out to avoid yelling, arguing, or getting into power struggles.
3. Prevent behaviour problems
Calm parents focus on being proactive, rather than reactive. They give their children tasks to keep them out of trouble, they explain their expectations ahead of time, and they intervene quickly when there is a sign of trouble.
As a result, they’re able to prevent a lot of temper tantrums and behaviour problems before they start.
4. Try to control themselves, not their kids
Calm parents know they can;t force their children to stop crying or sit still. So rather than panic when their children misbehave, they follow through with consequences that will teach them to make better choices next time.
In the meantime, they focus on managing their own emotions and being a good role model.
5. Use effective consequences
Calm parents don’t play around with half-hearted consequences. They know what works. While taking away video games may work for one child, timeout may be the most effective consequence for another. They have confidence the consequences they employ will serve as a teaching tool, rather than a punishment.
6. Offer a single warning
You won’t see a calm parent nagging, begging, and making repeated threats. Instead, they offer one warning only. Then, they leave it up to the child to make a choice – follow through with the directions or experience the consequences.
7. Say what they mean and mean what they say
Calm parents don’t use idle warnings or over-the-top threats that they don’t plan to enforce. Instead, they make it clear that their words have meaning. They follow through with consequences and show their children they mean what they say.
8. Keep the big picture in mind
All parents experience bad days and difficult times.
But calm parents, keep the big picture in mind. They don’t let themselves exaggerate their hardships. Instead, they keep a realistic outlook. They know that difficult times are part of raising a child who will become a responsible adult.
9. Have a sense of humour
Calm parents are able to see the humour that accompanies parenthood. Big messes, ridiculous squabbles, and embarrassing moments don’t have to be super serious. No matter what circumstances they face, they believe a little light-hearted laughter is the best medicine.
Learn more helpful strategies from Amy Morin by visiting her website. Be sure to check out her book and learn how to effectively manage stress in other areas of life!